An Inclusive & Welcoming Spiritual Community
Welcome to Unity of Monterey Bay!
At Unity of Monterey Bay, we support one another in remembering the Truth of our Being - each of us being an individualized expression of God - in spite of any appearances to the contrary. Together, we co-create a collective consciousness that invites ALL who are seeking to know and live this Truth to find a home in Unity;
and to affirm together, in deep gratitude:
Thank You, God, for this most AMAZING DAY...
Miracle follows Miracle and Wonders Never Cease!
What is Unity?
"There is only One Presence and One Power in the Universe, God the Good - expressing as Infinite God beyond us (arms spread wide), Intimate God beside us (Namaste position: hands in front), Inner God being us (hands over heart)...Divine LOVE in Action (hands clasped together)."
Unity of Monterey Bay's Current Statement of Faith
“Unity is part of the mystical, New Thought movement, which began in the late 19th century; we share a Christian heritage – with Jesus as our Master Teacher – but we focus on the teachings OF Jesus – rather than the religion that has grown up ABOUT him. As our name, UNITY, suggests – we are inclusive – meaning we honor other religious and spiritual traditions and Master Teachers, believing ultimately that all paths, grounded in love, lead to God.” Rev. Vicky Elder
Our Vision: Just imagine a world powerfully transformed by advancing the global movement of spiritual awakening and transformation through Unity.
Spring 2023 Affirmation:
May this action be the cause for my enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.
Our Senior Minister
Vicky Elder (she, her, hers)
Rev Vicky Elder (she, her) has served as our Minister since 1998, first as co-minister with her late husband, Rory, and since his passing in 2007, as the Senior Minister. Her passions include creating a safe space for all people to explore their spiritual nature, become biblically and spiritually literate, and discover their own Path to the Sacred; and social justice--which she actively pursues through UMB's involvement with COPA (Citizens Organizing for Relational Power in Action - an IAF affiliate).
Vicky also serves as the West Central Region of Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) Regional Representative to the UWM Standards Committee.
In addition to ministry, Vicky's passion is her family. She has two sons who grew up in Monterey and continue to make it their home; Travis with his wife Catherine; and Kyle with his wife, Justine, and their daughter, Rory Rose (Vicky's first granddaughter), and their son, Lennon. Vicky's daughter, Brianna, lives in Cincinnati, OH, with her husband, Salvador, and their sons, Mateo and Joaquin (Vicky's grandsons). And of course, Vicky's rescue pup, Tohbi, lives with her in Castroville.
Prior to ministry, Vicky worked as a Program Manager for the CA Attorney General's Crime & Violence Prevention Center and as a counselor at the Unity Life Enrichment Center in Sacramento, CA. She has a BA (Political Science) and an MA (Public Policy) from San Francisco State University, an MA in Marriage and Family Counseling from the University of San Francisco, as well as her Divinity Training at Unity's Ministerial Program in Lee's Summit, MO.
Our Associate Minister
Michelle Vargas, MA Mdiv (she, her, hers)
Rev. Michelle Vargas (she, her) graduated from Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute with a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained at Unity Village in June 2019. Michelle has been a member of Unity of Monterey Bay since 1996 and joyfully served as a Prayer Chaplain and on the Leadership Council for many years. She now serves as Associate Minister and works very closely with Rev. Vicky. Some of Michelle’s passions include Bible interpretation, Jesus’ teachings, inclusive and intergenerational ministry, prayer/meditation, nature, and helping others to come to know God as Love.
Prior to ministry, Michelle received a Master of Arts in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and worked as an ESL instructor at Hartnell, Gavilan, and Monterey Peninsula Colleges. She has also worked as a family law paralegal and a medical transcriptionist. Michelle received her BA in Language Studies from UC Santa Cruz. While an undergraduate, she lived in Mexico for two years, where she studied at the Universidad de Guadalajara and taught ESL. She is fluent in Spanish and is passionate about Mexican history and culture. A few years ago, Michelle created a Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos celebration at UMB which has become part of our annual liturgical calendar.
In August 2021 Michelle celebrated 26 years of sobriety and she is excited and knowledgeable about how the teachings of Unity can complement a 12-step recovery program. Michelle’s greatest joy in life is raising her son, Alexander, who has special needs. She lives in Monterey with her husband, her son, their dog, and two cats.
Leadership Council (Board of Trustees)
John Dundon (he/him/his): Co-President (Highway Cleanup)
Larry Sanks (he/him/his): Co-President (Grounds Manager)
Kay Payan (she/her/hers): Secretary (Sacred Grounds Store Manager)
Robin Falkenburg (she/her/hers): Treasurer (Veterans Liaison)
MaryAnn Boylan (she/her/hers): Member (COPA Liaison)
Walter Ryce (he/him/his): Member
Sue Rojcewicz (she/her/hers): Trustee Emeritus (Chaplain Coordinator/Liaison, Music Team, COPA)
James Bogan (he/him/his): Trustee Emeritus
Martha Price (she/her/hers): Trustee Emeritus (Webmaster, Video Coordinator)
Vicky Elder (she/her/hers): Senior Minister
Michelle Jelinch (she/her/hers): Associate Minister
Denise Hedlind (she/her/hers): Music Director
Dori Bogan (she/her/hers): Administrative Team
IN SERVICE TO OUR CHURCH CommUNITY
Sundays at 10:00 AM
We look forward to everyone returning to in-person services (there’s nothing like physical hugs to boost our spirits and our immune systems); all services will continue to be in-person and live-streamed on our Unity Monterey FaceBook page at 10 AM (technology permitting).
“Friend” our “Unity Monterey” FB page by visiting and clicking on the thumbs-up in the heading – and a notice/link to the service will automatically drop into your email. (You can create a basic FB page and use it ONLY for our Sunday Services and/or other UMB events.)
Additionally, after the close of the live-stream service, the video can be viewed at your convenience by visiting our Unity Monterey FaceBook page (click on “Videos” with the current date – any time after 11:15 AM) OR on our Unity of Monterey Bay YouTube channel (usually posted by 1 PM Sunday).
NEW COVID GUIDELINES (as of 12/29/2022)
The Leadership Council has established new guidelines for our Unity CommUnity, please adhere to the following guidelines:
We are asking (not mandating) that folks wear masks at services through January (when we will revisit the situation.
We recommend everyone get the new Bivalent COVID-19 booster.
MASKS REMAIN REQUIRED FOR UN- or UNDER-VACCINATED people, and are recommended for everyone indoors.
Anyone who has been traveling or otherwise possibly exposed to COVID (or other cold-like symptoms), is asked to mask at church for at least 7 days past the possible exposure.
Anyone experiencing cold-like symptoms, or knowingly exposed to COVID, is to wait a minimum of five days from exposure, and get a negative PCR test within 48 hours of returning to in-person services (Home-antigen tests have been found unreliable against the newest variants.)
If you tested positive for COVID, the new CDC guidelines say, "Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CSC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public:
People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their sympotoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infection people they encounter.
The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after."
PCR testing sites can be located by checking: https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-a-h/health/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-testing-locations
Thank you for your ongoing understanding and cooperation.
Spirit of Recovery Podcast with Rev. Michelle Jelinch
Tuesdays at 2 PM
Spirit of Recovery explores the ways that Unity teachings and 12-step recovery intertwine -and work together - to support our spiritual growth on our recovery journey. Each week Rev. Michelle and her co-host, Rev. Dan Beckett, share their experience, strength, and hope in a fun, casual format. You can listen live, and/or access all past archivesd shows at the link; or you can find Spirit of Recovery on the Mind Body Spirit.fm Podcast.
Spiritual Education & Enrichment
Wednesdays 12 - 1:30 PM
New Class Beginning Soon!
Check this space for our next class
Sundays at 10:00 AM- Virtual and In-Person church services on Facebook at Unity Monterey page & YouTube
Tuesdays at 2:00: Spirit of Recovery, Unity Podcast with Rev Michelle Vargas
March 31, 6-9:00 PM: Spring Cook Off and Bingo Night: Appetizers Cook Off! Salad, bread, dessert, and non-alcoholic drinks included $25, with wine $30. Sign up at email@example.com
April 14-16 - Women's Retreat at Villa Maria del Mar in Santa Cruz.
May 5-7: Men's Retreat at Lake Tahoe, Nevada
August 6, 2023: SAVE THE DATE: Denise Rosier speaking with her music!
Expand Your Spiritual Toolbox
If you’re looking for tools to support your spiritual journey, we have collected some of the most practical ways to nurture your divine spirit—whether you’re looking for an affirmation, a meditation, or simply silence.
We are looking for a Youth Church Aide to support Nicole - there is a modest monthly stipend available... If you know of someone who loves working with children, please encourage them to speak to Nicole, or Michelle, or Vicky. (Our policy is to have two adults present with the children at all times.) In the meantime, if you are willing to volunteer in times of need - please also let Michelle and/or Nicole know.
We are also needing to create a Sound Team - now that Kyle is soon off to boot camp. If you would be willing to serve one or two Sundays a month - and learn the set-up and management of the Sound Board - please speak with Vicky or Robin or Larry.
Other Opportunities to Serve
Youth Church Aide - We are looking for a youth church aide to work with Nicole (so that we meet our "best-practices" goal of two adults (at least 16) present at all times with our kids). There is a stipend available if that's an incentive. We could also use respite volunteers to give Nicole an occasional break. Speak with Nicole or Michelle if you are interested or have questions.
Sound Team - We need a team to cover the sound board and recording of the services. It's not too complicated - Robin will train. Multiple volunteers can make it a once-a-month commitment.
Sunday Ushers & Coffee - If you are looking for a way to feel more connected and involved in our commUnity - sign up to usher and/or make coffee once-a-month. See Jan Lindenthal-Cox with any questions.
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View our Recordings of Lessons and Meditations on Facebook
Love offerings for our recordings are appreciated!